How to Write a Resume: Writing Guide and Examples
Do you need to write a resume? While it's only a page or two in length, a resume is one of the most important parts of a job application. Your resume is your most powerful tool to tell the story of your professional history to potential employers.
A well-written resume that highlights your most relevant qualifications for the job will help you get selected for an interview. Often, interviewers will consult your resume during the interview, too. Above all, your resume needs to be consistent, concise, and easy to read.
If it's not, your resume and cover letter won't get a second glance from any hiring manager. Here is information on how to write a resume that will get noticed and help you get invited for an interview.
7 Tips For a Resumé That Will Get You Hired
Choose a Resume Type
A chronological resume (in reverse chronological order) is the simplest format to use, but there may be circumstances where you want to focus on your key accomplishments and skills rather than your employment history. For instance, this format can be helpful if you have an employment gap.
Taking the time to choose the best type of resume for your situation is well worth the effort.
Choose the Right Font and Size
It's important to choose a font and font size that are legible and will leave enough white space on the page. You also want to keep style features (such as italics, underlining, bold, and the use of bullets) to a minimum; reserve the use of boldface for section headings and for quantifiable achievements that you would like to have “pop” on the page (example: “Secured and fulfilled $1.5M contract”).
When you use a particular style, use it consistently. That is, if you bold one section header, make sure to bold all of them.
Use Resume Keywords
Most companies use recruiting management software to screen candidates for job openings.
In order to get found, your resume needs to contain keywords that directly target the jobs you are interested in.
Spend some time matching your qualifications to the job to ensure you're including the appropriate keywords and skills. In addition to helping your resume get selected, it will also help the hiring manager see how your skills and experiences make you an ideal candidate for the specific job.
Carefully Write Job Descriptions
Review the descriptions you've written for each job you've held:
- Are they going to show the hiring manager why you're a good match?
- Do they sound impressive?
Take a couple of minutes to tweak them a little so they look super impressive.
Proof Your Resume
Be sure to thoroughly edit your resume before sending it:
- Check for grammar and spelling errors as well as any style inconsistencies.
- Always print it out and proofread a hard copy. That helps to catch errors.
- Consider asking a friend or family member, or even a career counselor, to read over your cover letter.
- Review these proofing tips to ensure that your resume is consistent and error free.
Download a Resume Template
Along with resume examples, you can use a resume template as a starting point for creating your own resume. Add your information to the resume template, then tweak and edit it to personalize your resume so that it highlights your own unique skills and abilities.
Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.
Review a Resume Sample
Resume Sample (Text Version)
234 Howard Street • Milwaukee, WI 53210 • (123) 456-7890 • email@example.com
Skillful and customer service-oriented Cashier with proven capacities for checkout and return transactions, point of sale operations, and team organization and motivation. Key skills include:
- Cash Handling / Credit Transactions
- Up-selling / Cross-selling Strategies
- Product Knowledge Acquisition
- Team Supervision & Training
- Customer Education
- Issue Resolution
HARDWARE SALES, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Head Cashier (February 2017 – Present)
Performed all cash handling and credit transactions with 100% accuracy. Processed checkout and return transactions, provided solutions to customer queries and issues, and coached and trained new hires.
- Leveraged strong product knowledge to educate customers and maximize up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
- Promoted to role as Head Cashier six months after initial hiring as Cashier.
- Earned 3 “Employee of the Quarter” awards.
ARNOLD’S DRIVE-IN, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Waitress (November 2015 – January 2017)
Concurrent with education, provided attentive customer service to patrons of popular local restaurant. Greeted guests, provided menu recommendations, and took orders; helped to maintain dining room.
- Trained and mentored new wait staff in winning customer service techniques.
- Earned frequent commendations from restaurant guests for cheerfulness and creation of positive dining experiences.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
Associate’s Degree in Business Management, 2017
Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Technical Proficiencies: Microsoft Office Suite, QuickBooks, and POS systems
Review More Resume Examples
Read through samples that fit a variety of employment situations. These sample resumes will provide you with examples of resume formats that will work for almost every type of job seeker. They will also help you see what kind of information to include.
Get Resume Advice
Writing a resume is hard work, and it's often a good idea to get help before you send it to employers. You can find resume writing advice and resume writing tips online. You can also meet with a college career counselor if you are a college student or alumnus.
You might use a professional resume service instead or check with your state’s department of labor website for information on any free job services they offer. There are many great, free resume resources, so do some research before paying money for someone’s advice.